Monday 21 Apr

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Shenandoah’s valley

Shenandoah’s valley

If you write what you know, you better know some pain, preaches Shenandoah Davis, whose ‘art-parlour pop’ reflects a heart-wrenching past.

Joshua Boydston November 16th, 2011

Shenandoah Davis with Penny Hill
9 p.m. Thursday
113 N. Crawford, Norman

Attention, songwriters in the making: Seattle-based chamber-pop musician Shenandoah Davis has a few words of advice for you.

“If you’re an aspiring artist who doesn’t feel like you have enough experiences to write genuine songs about yet, then go and travel and get into a couple doomed romantic relationships and get your hands dirty and mess up a little bit,” she said. “It seems scary to write that close to home, but there are plenty of wealthy kids whose parents bought them cars when they graduated from high school, toting around guitars and writing songs about how they wish they were farmers, or about mountain ranges they’ve never seen and emotions they’ve never felt, which always come off as disingenuous ... not to mention boring.”

Davis certainly took heed of her own words of wisdom. Growing up in the Adirondack Mountains, she learned piano at 3, and studied classical music and opera in college. Then wanderlust set in, and Davis meandered across the states before settling in Seattle. Her dainty piano, pretty vocal harmonies, string arrangements and tight percussion meld into a sound she and her bandmates have dubbed “art-parlour pop,” akin to Joanna Newsom or local Sherree Chamberlain.

“I guess that I sort of create my own dream version of my world,” Davis said. “I try to take events that I have seen and things that I have experienced and blow them up in my mind ... to create these kind of cinematic and sometimes heart-wrenching scenarios.”

Davis now has two full-length albums to her name, including this year’s “The Company We Keep,” which she recorded over the course of a year in her newly adopted hometown, with the result “far more epic” than she expected. It’s been something of a success, given the limitations of its humble, independent release, landing on college-radio charts and achieving steady critical praise.

“I’ve never considered the style of music I’m writing to be one that a mainstream audience would enjoy, but so far, all of the reviews have been glowing,” she said.

Her three-month U.S. trek winds down Thursday at Opolis, before heading to New Zealand, Portugal, Spain and more faraway places.

“There will definitely be some more adventuring before it’s time to start making another record,” she said.

Photo by Jenn Sweeney

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